A Cognitive Sciences Reading List for Designers

A Cognitive Sciences Reading List for Designers

If you’ve ever done any contextual inquiry or usability testing, you’ve probably observed first hand the difference between what people say they will do and what they actually end up doing. This post is a quick roundup of the most enlightening books on the task of designing information systems for messy, irrational humans. By Andy Fitzgerald.

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Weaving the Bridge at Q’eswachaka

Weaving the Bridge at Q’eswachaka

Every year, local communities on either side of the Apurimac River Canyon use traditional Inka engineering techniques to rebuild the Q'eswachaka Bridge. The old bridge is taken down and the new bridge is built in only three days. The bridge has been rebuilt in this same location continually since the time of the Inka.

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The Case For Leaving City Rats Alone

The Case For Leaving City Rats Alone

Kaylee Byers crouches in a patch of urban blackberries early one morning this June, to check a live trap in one of Vancouver’s poorest areas, the V6A postal code. Her first catch of the day is near a large blue dumpster on “Block 5,” in front of a 20-some-unit apartment complex above a thrift shop. Across the alley, a building is going up; between the two is an overgrown, paper and wrapper-strewn lot. In the lot, there are rats. “Once we caught two in a single trap,” she says, peering inside the cage.

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Deep space travel might blow your mind, but it could be bad for your heart

Deep space travel might blow your mind, but it could be bad for your heart

Bad news would-be astronauts: Traveling into deep space could be bad for your heart. In a study published Thursday in Scientific Reports, researchers found that astronauts who went to the moon were almost five times more likely to die of cardiovascular disease than astronauts who remained in low-Earth orbit on the International Space Station. The findings suggest that leaving the protective fold of the Earth and its magnetic field could be more damaging to the cardiovascular system than was previously thought.

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Scientists grow dandelions to make rubber

Scientists grow dandelions to make rubber

Scientists have developed a dandelion strain with natural rubber in its roots. The summer weed that invades suburban lawns could be the next rubber tree. Researchers are working to improve the weed so that it can be produced fast and efficiently enough to be a sustainable source of rubber.

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